Today marks the fourth anniversary of the adoption of the ILO Convention 189 on “Decent Work for Domestic Workers” (including migrant domestic workers) and since then June 16 is celebrated as International Domestic Workers Days. After a slow start, the ILO Domestic Workers Convention has been ratified by 20 countries, with Chile being the newest ratification just one week ago. Other recent ratifications include the Dominican Republic, Belgium and Panama. Several events and campaigns marked the event; among the most recent campaigns is #OurHands which is
a social media campaign that had its “soft launch” a few weeks ago but is officially launched today. The campaign is organized by Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA) in partnership with Christian Aid with the goal to engage with domestic workers online stipulate them to connect with each other. The campaign provides “know-your-rights”-materials for domestic workers and encourages them to share this material on- and offline. OurHands wants to highlight that “empowering and protecting the rights of domestic workers is a collective responsibility. We aim to create an enabling environment for domestic workers to articulate their rights, organise themselves, negotiate their terms of employment, and participate in social dialogue that concerns them.”
Here you can find the website:
ILO has also started a campaign under the theme “Decent Work for Domestic Workers begins at home”. The title can be read quite literally, since it wants to raise awareness among ILO officials to treat their domestic workers with respect, recognise their work, pay a decent wage, guarantee sufficient rest and provide decent living conditions. Obviously, these standards should apply to all employers and you can find more Information here:
A comparable imitative comes from the International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF) and is called “My Fair Home”. It includes the option to make an online commitment for issues such as
◾I will ensure that domestic workers in my home have access to decent healthcare.
◾I will actively ensure a work environment that is free from abuse, harassment and violence.
The campaign website can be found here (you can also print your own My Fair Home paddle 😉
Besides this campaign, many civil society organisations issued statements today, among them MFA who stressed:
“For domestic workers to realize their rights, governments must make a strong political commitment to not only ratify ILO C189, but to implement its provisions into their national labour legislation. They must enforce rules that provide crucial human and labour rights protections to all domestic workers, including migrant domestic workers.”
And here you can find the Statement of the Asia-Pacific Mission for Migrant Workers (APMM) commemorating the IDW Day and ILO C189: http://www.apmigrants.org/domestic-work-as-work-dwaw/ilo-convention-189-and-its-potential-to-domestic-migrant-workers-rights-after-4-years/